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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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My CAT journey began in 2005 December. I'd heard about CAT for the very first time around then (was in my 3rd year BE). Engineering sickness was at a high for me and this crazy little feline seemed to offer me a radiant lucrative path away from technical stuff. I joined IMS classroom coaching for CAT 2006 and attended a few lectures, took some tests etc. I'd scored a couple of 90s in the mocks and since people were of the opinion that CAT day is a completely different ball game, I was deluded by false hope that I'd score a kickass 99%ile with multiple calls and get into one of the IIMs like they'd already readied a red carpet welcome for me. CAT 2006 only got me a 93%ile, and that too because I managed to score decently in VA. I gave XAT and FMS as well. Suprised myself with a 97%ile in XAT and that got me a call from SPJain. The group interview there was a hopeless case for me and I was the only fresher and was attending the first ever interview of my life. It seemed to me at the time though, that SPJain would be the most important convert of my career. I obviously didn't make the cut. My disappointment knew no bounds. Since I screwed up my Math and DI in CAT, I felt a desperate need to pull up my socks.

Meanwhile I joined Lehman Brothers on the IT side and after a couple of months decided to take CAT 2007 - Software/IT was fine, but I wanted to be in the thick of the business. I was told that coaching classes are no good and that private coaching was much better. I joined one such class for the test series, but what can I say - the students there were too bright for me. I couldn't solve as much as the others could, and I was always one of the worst performers there. Nevertheless, I decided to take a break from the class and practiced my Math and DI really hard - much much more than the efforts I'd put in for CAT 2006. VA has always been my strong point and I never practiced VA at all.

Come CAT 2007 and I gave it my best shot. But even my best wasnt good enough. I got single digit marks in VA (my supposed strong point) and QA and my overall percentile was 63. I was never so ashamed of anything till then. No one in my friends circle had scored so less. I kind of went into withdrawal and decided not to tell anyone my scores. People would come and say "Arre, bata de na yaar. Come on you wouldn't have done that badly. I know the meaning of 'bad' - you must have scored some 90%ile and that's your definition of bad. I bet it wouldn't have gone below 85 worst case". Well, unfortunately there is a big difference between 63 and 85 I decided to give up on CAT, hang my boots and continue working at LB whether I liked it or not. I was pissed at myself and did not give any other exams that year - no XAT, no FMS, no nothing.

Work started picking up in 2008 and I felt that I had a good future in the company. I'd got promoted and won an award for some achievement and was being given more responsibility to shoulder - so I decided that after the 2007 fiasco, there'd be no point even thinking about CAT. By around August, rumours were rife that LB might not survive. This was a shocking new development for the worse. Here I was not having bothered about CAT at all, and suddenly it seemed to be my only hope. I was still partially reluctant to believe that anything so dramatic like an LB backruptcy could happen and decided to close my eyes and think it'd be dark everywhere. Luckily for me, my family and friends forced me to sign up for CAT 2008 and then I began taking mock tests with TIME around September - yes it was quite late to begin preparations, but this time, I just had to get out - and couldn't depend on my workplace to save me! :nono:

Since work was almost nil, I started studying in the office with some other batchmates. I decided that I'd primarily solve, re-solve, analyze and re-analyze the tests from various test series. I joined CL, IMS, TIME and CF and brought back all their papers home and solved and analyzed several of them. I maintained a separate book for writing down any new questions/methods I would come across - the idea being that in the final days before CAT 2008, all I'd have to do was to revise that book. I also solved a lot of questions from Tenaday.co.in as well as some chapters from Nishith Sinha. I'd understood that self-help was going to be the best help. Still, my mock tests werent going very great, and my scores were generally hovering around the 85-95%ile mark. The coaching class VA answer keys used to be so irritating as there were never any explanations that made sense. Nevertheless, I put all this behind me and continued to focus on my preparation.

One thing that I'd gained so far was experience. 2 CATs old and about to take a third, I realized that keeping my cool was what would work. People will tend to say and do several kinds of things. People will score amazing marks in mocks, act like they dont study at all, hail from IITs and hence score 100%iles in math and di every time etc etc etc. My advice - the competition is between you and yourself only. Forget what others have to say. Never waste any time wondering what would happen if so-and-so guy were to get into IIMA and you didn't get there. Dont think about the future - it can take care of itself.

Since my work environment at LB was getting quite shaky, I decided that I was going to take all the entrance tests possible. So I registered for IIFT, SNAP, XAT, JMET, FMS and NMAT. I just knew I had to escape somehow and was ready to take up any college.

Come CAT 2008 and I wanted to give it my best. I didn't think I could drop below a 63%ile anyway however hard I tried :). After the test I knew I'd made some very silly mistakes in DI but apart from that I was largely satisfied. Come 10th January and this is how my scorecard looked like -

Section - I Quantitative 38.00 (out of 100) 95.52
Section - II Logic & DI 29.00 (out of 96) 86.65
Section - III Verbal 71.00 (out of 160) 99.18
Total 138.00 (out of 356) 99.24

You have been shortlisted by the following IIM's for their PGP interviews. Details available on the individual institute's website (candidates for IIMC should check whether they are shortlisted for PGDM or PGDCM or both):

WOOHOOO! I couldnt believe my eyes. I'd somehow managed a lone call from IIM Lucknow! My joy knew no bounds and I was relieved more than ever. I now stood a chance to be a part of the elite IIMs. But relief was soon overcome by an avalanche of self-doubt. There were people who had got 6 calls and had converted none. How was I going to convert just one single call? It had been a while since I'd participated in any GDs (back in college), and I was never really a quizzer nor was I from an IIT. Reading some of the previous year student's experiences only scared me further. I started preparation slowly rather than steadily. Work was also slowly trickling in as LB was taken over by Nomura and managing office work and studies was proving to be very very very difficult.

I also got calls from IIFT, MDI, FMS, NITIE, SPjain, SIBM-P and NMIMS meanwhile which boosted my confidence. I joined the IMS Achiever's Workshop. These 2 days were what really really readied me for my GDPIs. Not that I did very well during the workshop, but I got to understand how others were doing, what they were reading/studying and what it generally means to have BLACKI calls. I found that just because people have multiple calls doesnt mean you are inferior to them in any way. Like one prof kept saying - "It doesnt matter how many calls you have in your kitty - Even a guy with a 100 calls will ultimately take up only one". :D

My outlook changed that day. I decided to try and convert the negative self-doubt into a positive workhard attitude. I tried to cover up as much reading as I could. Magazines such as The Economist are perfect for this. I wish I had started reading it earlier. The name is quite misleading. It's also expensive - around 200 bucks per isue, but I suggest you buy 2nd hand issues - say a week old or so, you'll get them for much cheaper. I read The Economist, India Today, TOI and very rarely the ET. Also the articles at testfunda helped a lot CURRENT AFFAIRS. But remember, knowledge is a vaaaast ocean. And your interviewers are always going to know more than you. Its a tough testing period, but just relax and continue with your determination.

My IIFT GD PI went okay, but it wasnt the greatest - and I was wait listed at IIFT Kolkata. You can read about my experience here - http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/other-exams-xat-fms-jmet/37335-iift-gd-pi-experiences-2009-a-7.html#post1388053.

At FMS though, I had a blast in the GDPI and I managed to convert. I was completely elated and felt worthy as the FMS selection procedure is one of the toughest there is. You can read that experience here - http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/other-exams-xat-fms-jmet/38257-2009-2011-fms-mba-ft-5.html#post1449206.

My IIM Lucknow experience was something I wont forget soon. My group had people mostly from the IITs and mostly with BLACKI calls. It was going to be quite competitive. I put forward some good points in the GD and essay but my interview was a complete disaster or so I thought. The questions they had asked me were so vague and seemingly irrelevant I felt cheated almost considering I had just one chance at the IIMs. This experience is detailed here - http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/37587-2009-2011-iiml-essay-gd.html#post1426646

I also decided that I was not going to attend any more GDPIs, although people told me otherwise. They said I'd gain from the experience and stuff. As I mentioned earlier, dont give a crap to what others say. Hear them out and then do whatever you want to. No offense meant to anyone, but it didn't seem right to me to aim for an IIM but also be ready to accept an NMIMS. I did not go for the GDPIs of NITIE, MDI, SPJ, NM or SIBM-P.

10th April 2009 was a tense affair. I was hoping that my efforts would pay off. When I keyed in my details, this is what I got -

You have been selected for admission to PGP 2009-2011 batch at IIM Lucknow.
:w00t: :clap:

Ohboyohboyohboy!!! My lone L call and I'd converted it. WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!! The next 2 days went in letting the news sink in and also on the telephone. Future aspirants, trust me on this, while all B-schools are good - an IIM is an IIM. No two things about that. You need to experience it to feel it and savour it.

People all suddenly start looking up to you and it wont matter whether you iron your clothes or shave your beard anymore .

A few pointers to all the aspirants out there. It aint over till it's over. Give CAT your best shot. Forget about any previous failures (I should know - from 63%ile to 99.24%ile). Dont bother about what others tell you. Dont think your profile is any worse than others'. Maintain a separate notebook for CAT and GDPI prep to jot down new things you learn so that all you need to refer is this one book. Attend the IMS Achievers' Workshop. Dont get depressed if you're unable to work+study - do how much ever you can - and know that everyone faces the same time constraints. Dont worry about getting VA wrong in any of the mock tests. Study VA from the GMAT OG guide if possible. Be positive and be yourself. You need to believe that you can make it. Always remember, NOBODY can be good at EVERYTHING. Find out what you're good at and project that and forget about what you arent good at.

Thanks to PG and Puys for the amazing help each and every time I was down and out. I couldn't have got here without you.
All the best to everyone!


Finally,i am posting on this thread..sort of a dream cum true..alwas thought ki kaash main bhi yahan post kar pata..:p


I started off my career with a ok 82.60% in my 10th standard..I never got above 80 in my entire school and in the last 15 days leading to the board exams,i studied a bit and manged this percentage sumhw..I was a very shy boy thru out and one of my maths teachers alwas said-'he is a very dull boy'..But,he was the one who taught me maths early in ma life..My father once came to ask one of my teacher's at school how I was doin..she said dat i ll do better as i grow up..i thought dat she said it just like dat to make my father happy..And today wen i look back,I realise the meaning of it..there were numerous occassions wen i was scolded by my teachers for nt studying and tarnishing my sister's reputation who happened to be a topper at the school..
This was the time when my family moved to bhubaneswar from khurda road,a small town wer i grew up..:pso,now i was in a city for the first time in my life and i was sort of puzzled so as to hw will i adjust here in the crowd..i gt admitted in a gud college(BJB) where there were many toppers..I studied very normally those 2 years and alwas dreamed about buying a mitsubishi lancer which i saw everyday..I whiled away most of my time in those 2 years working hard for only 4 months and as expected dint do well in ne of the exams..gt a decent 86.00% in the board exams..but apart from that i gt nothing..never thot of IIT as sumthng i can achieve,but i was hopeful of NIT..but that too i flunked badly....padhunga tab na hota..I had made up my mind that i ll prepare for another year and do well..But,as destiny would have it,I got a 2461 rank in the state JEE and gt myself admitted in Civil engineering in CET,Bhubaneswar(ghar main bole-'bharti hoja,why waste 1 year')..again a good college..

I joined Civil branch finally but wanted to change my branch.So,studied a bit seriously before the exams and at the end of first year changed my branch to electrical..now,i was happy and i thought-'sahi hai ab,life ban gayi meri..college main placement toh hojayega koi software company main n i ll earn 20k per month,big money..coool'.In my first year,I took part in an Extempore competition in my college fest..I gt 'ambience' as my topic..I wanted to speak,par kya karun i dint knew the meaning of the word..But,then happened sumthing which changed my life forever..I fell in love with a girl at the very first instant i saw her..The truth is that i started my MBA perp to only impress her..I started reading THE HINDU newspaper religiously and found out the meaning of every new word i got..I started Norman lewis for Vocabs..For the first time in my life,I was sincere abt sumthing..I vowed to do 1 exercise of Norman lewis everday..43 exercises completed in 35 days..meanwhile my level of frustration increased as i increasingly came to know dat i will never succeed in my pursuit and she ll never say yes to sum1 like me who had nothing..Meanwhile,fests were on in the college and i saw my friends win in many events and here i was participating in evry event and geting nthng but dissapointment.. I felt that i am an absolute loser aur merese kuch nahn hoga..My HINDU was wat kept me goin at that stage..
In my 3rd year,I joined career launcher with no real aim but just to carry forward my relentless pursuit which gt more agonising everyday..Also,joined a computer course just to keep myself occupied..was least interested wat was taught there..
I was reading now regularly and solving the material that i got..was geting more serious everday and studying hardd and real hard was my only way of venting my helplessness due to the girl i was after..she rarely talked to me..
But,again as destiny would have it,after 1.5 years,i got committed one fine day and my dream came true..she said yes to me...I was very happy that day..But,very soon i realised that now I have to get into a gud B-School in order to convince her parents ki main layak hun..Now,my parents came to know abt this and i was bambooed like anythng for this..It was only getting difficult for me to concentrate on my prep as it was geting very emotional coz of my relationship and the flak i received for it on a regular basis..I knew that for personal reasons this will be my first and also the last attempt at MBA exams..a do or die situation..But,she alwas stood by my side n encouraging me that i can do it..Now,i grew only stronger everyday and was determined to do well..My parents sacrificed a lot to make sure that i get good education..

My coaching was goin on in an ok ok manner with me geting occasional bamboo at home..I studied hard n real hard,cried many a times for making my parents and her unhappy at times..worked like a donkey..
Then came the mocks and i started with a 83 percentile with only 1 section cleared.I kept on working..sum mocks were gud but most of them were bad for me..I knew all along that i can do better..I learned a lot from mocks..these exams teach u a lot about life..i learnt to be patient and realised that there is no place for personal ego here..learnt from my mistakes..I even told her lies abt my mock scores just to make her happy..den in one mock i gt 43 percentile with a -13 in Englich section..13 attempts,13 wrong..my confidence took a serious blow..after all those endless hours of practice,i gt this..i thought i can never do well in xams..merese hoga nahn,i am nt made for big things..but i went on to work hard,and she alwas was der 4 me..

After 1.5 years of endless mocks and practice,I was all geared up for the big moment..My last mocks were gud,nt IIM types though..I was fairly hopeful of my chances..struggled to sleep the day before as i remembered all the things i had done in the last 2 years for this very day..slept at 2,woke up at 7..went to my center too early,carried a choclate as sum1 suggested it wud keep me cool and an ipod that will again make me cooler..:nono:..my nerves gt the better of me n i flunked CAT..it was over before i cud know wat happened..I was dejected like hell..my friends who prepared with me did well as xpected and were xpecting IIM calls..
Then, i sumhw managed to get out of it and geared up for IIFT the following week..did fairly and was xpecting a call..results came soon on dec 12th and i missed the cut-off my 1 mark...14th dec,JMET.I was determined to do well this tme and went in with a very cool head(no more choclates and ipods this time).had a very good paper and it was the best of ma life..i could never have done better..xpected a SJSOM call n a rank below 150..was very happy that day..den came SNAP,did well there also..xpecting a SIBM,Pune call..

3rd Jan.
The day before XAT and JMET rsults were on net..I gt a 437 rank,cud nt bliv my eyes..just cudnt bliv that my best performance ever gave me this...this was the lowest point of my life..next day was XAT n i was in no mood to appear for the xam coz i felt that i can get nothng in life even after giving my everythng for it..XAT day,went in thinking nthng this time,did fairly well..came out,no hopes this time around..9th jan. SNAP results declared and i missed SIBM by 0.5marks..i was just speechless at my luck..10th jan,the day b4 FMS,CAT results declared..gt 96.74,no calls obviously..many of my friends gt BLACKI..i felt very very low..all this time i was thinking just 1 thing-'wer has all my hardwork gone?'..FMS day,gave it my best with a cool head and returned home..All the way along,she was behind me..my mother encouraged me dat i ll get sumthng gud at the end of it all..Also,there were ppl who said ther is no use of crying coz of bad results and i shud have worked harder in the preparation time..:nono:

19th Jan
XAT results declared and to my utter disbelief,I got a XLRI,BM call..I cried for 20 minutes,cudnt sleep dat night..den came FMS,gt both the calls from it..i was happier..now i had sumthng to cheer about..den came GD/PI stage, i worked normally this time..all interviews wer over and den came results..
First came FMS..waitlisted at 49 for MBA n rejected for MS..i knew FMS is over for me..actually had an xcellect PI there..My XL interview was also very gud..but after this,i was doubtful now..XL came on 25th Mar,i was waitlisted at 53 for BM..i knew i had a fair chance..
Finally,after all the effort that I had put in for the last 2 years,the agony,mental pain and ofcourse sum lovely moments also,on 27th april,I got a mail dat said I am thru XLRI.Felt a big big relief,tasted success for the first time in ma life..I was happy..felt vindicated..I had proved myself finally..
I would like to thank my parents for everthng that they have done to me,thank her for being with me all along and showing the faith wen i had lost it all..I thank my friends avinash and gogi for helping me out of very emotional situations..ur really special to me..arnav n jami for preparing with me and showing me wat this world of MBA means..a special thanks to PG..


Long time ago I was sitting under a tree and I thought I wanted to get into Civil Services. I was pretty determined until few IAS officers told me " Dude We'll be glad to welcome you to hell".

Then one fine morning in the month of August 2008, I returned from my holiday like internship in France and under the hangover of french wines and champagne, I decide to give a shot at CAT. I rushed to TIME and used brand IIT to get preferential treatment. They offered special classes on topics like Numbers before I return back to college to resume final year studies. Worked hard in the month of August and good aimcat results kept me going. But september and october I spent time watching Friends and movies since I got so bored doing the same maths and DI problems. Revised thoroughly in the month of november, repracticing the attempted aimcats.

16th Nov:

Finally the CAT day. First impression was that it was an average type attempt :banghead:. On checking scores I landed at 146 which everyone said was good. Verbal was 54 so i wasn't sure whether I'll make it or not. I thougt I might just manage to get calls from IIM LIK.

9th Jan:

Mom's birthday. Thought what a mess would it be on her birthday if I do not qualify. Checked the results before she got up at 6 AM in the morning and lo!!!! :w00t:
Calls from IIM A(PGPM and PGP-ABM) and C(PGDM) and none other :drinking::drinking:. Dad says "beta check kar inke alawa sab se hogi". But the fact remained. Surprised and shocked people still keep on asking "Dude why only A and C". What more even the interviewers at C asked me the same question. I call it LADY LUCK.:cheers:

Once through CAT I knew I stood a strong chance with my reasonably strong profile and good interview and GD skills. Prepared well and was confident. Interviews were as below:


As the IIMC prof almost confirmed that I was in, so I was pretty sure about C but couldn't say about the dream "IIMA".

10th April:

Get up early in the morning and check the result to find that they are not yet out. Clicked refresh like a million times and finally at around 8:30 AM IIMC declare their results and as expected a Congrats message :. Family fairly happy. Me thinking "yeh A waale kab denge". Was hardly happy at C result as it was already known. Now all attention at A's website. Refresh and more refresh . Family move to their work since no result till 9:30 AM. Then prescisely at 9:36 AM A declares result and lo!!! and double lo!!....:drinking::drinking: underdog who expected to merely manage a call from LIK becomes the king....ends up with IIMA. To add cherry to the icing I checked the IIMA PGP-ABM results and it also said congratulations :cheerio:. It was like Midas touch.

Message from the story:

Believe in LUCK and Trust yourself. Every dog has his day.

if 9th jan is good
10th april is better

finally the result came

i converted iim C,K

C was ma dream institute (not a anymore :x)

actually discovered that C was much better institute (i have my own sweet reasons)
also i think destiny did not play dirty wen it snatched A from me
but it had a new role , a challenge for me

to fight against established beliefs
why is one institute considered best
i am here to break another established belief

that IIM X is best and IIM C comes 2nd

IIM C here i come

i was going to be part of finance powerhouse


i know my story was very long
but didn't want to miss any thing
as i consider it as my comeback

i want to make a statement
to those

who think people from grade c or grade d college are worthless

to those

who think
you can do well in future if n only if you have done well in past

to those
who think
life doesn't give chance everytime

i think my story can bring heroes out of people who have not done so well in past but are willing to improve

just go for the kill
u can do it

finally people may say my dreams have ended

I would say

they have just begun




then came the stressful gd/pi preparation

i thought it would be a cakewalk with my high percentile
surely i would manage atleast 2 converts
with my 99.5 in qa i was confident of a 'C' convert
but then i came to know about horrible stories of 6 calls , 0 converts

100%ile no iim converts and all

i got restless
no work x for me
asked several people what to do
they said prepare hard

but what to prepare??????????

how come is that possible?????
oh nothing to prepare just prepare about yourself

what is that??????/
your hobbies
your interest
your grad subjects
why mba
all these in 40 days

i thought i had no chance now
as i had not taken my academics seriously during my graduation
partly due to my college
and partly because i thought
what has mba got to do with engineering?
but i was wrong
and by the time i realised it was too late

how much could i do in 40 days
4 years engineering syllabus
current affairs
why mba
lots of travelling
college projects
and many more

plus my college background and me being a fresher was giving me sleepless nights
suddenly i realised i had certification in NCFM
so thought this might be of any help

i just kept my kool
didn't study too much of my academics in that period (ps: not recommended for others)

9th march was my IIM C gd/pi the biggest of all

it couldn't have gone better

10th was K

it was OK

12th I

L was on 25th
which was like a rapid fire round

didn't have much hopes with I
but was sure of 3 converts


the C day

regular semester papers had taken me out of practise

i was worried
but counted on my simcat journey where i learned a new thing every simcat

so just brushed up all the formulae of maths

was confident that i would clear 2 sectional cuttoffs
was worried about 3rd or the last section i attempted
didn't know what to do

anyways 1 more thing which i got was , cat center was 35 kms from my resident

but if god creates problems
he creates solutions
just find them out
i found my solution
a friend had his center there as well
he owned a car
so we went like we were off to a picnic

i thought just keep your nerves kool, kool ,n kool

this was my 1st attempt for CAT

for the 2.5 hrs i kept myself involved never thought that i was taking an exam

attempted 54 qns

QA 15
DI 17
VA 22

as per various solutions i expected a score of 141-156

expected 0-7 iim calls

as i expected
55 in qa
53 in di
33-48 in va

va was the decider

8tH january 2009
my heart was pumping like a generator
didn't know what would be the fate
i expected 99+
but was not sure of iim calls

results came on 9th
server was down so got my result through sms

got 161
or 99.83 %ile

more than expected

why was GOD so merciful
he gave 5 marks extra

that means i was in top 350 of a test which had 2.5 lacs takers
that was amazing for me
based on last year criteria i was sure i would get calls from IIM A,C,L,I,K

although not 6
i was happy that i got call from my dream IIM A


hello dere is someone who has been playing with me since i have opened my eyes
lets call HIM destiny

i checked ma result in the evening
i saw there was NO 'A' call

i felt like crying

was getting 99.83 a crime
qa 99.5 (55)
di 99.71 (53)
va 96.43(53)

by that time
most of the people were informed about my 5 iim calls
but actually there were 4

the bitter truth was hard to digest

i was penalised for something which i did 5 years back

so 1 galti bhi maaf nahi hai???????


my 1st mockcat gave me 84%ile

i was happy bcause this was without preparation
next 10 tests there were fluctuations
high 80s n mid 90s
All this time i was aspiring for IIM A
but i knew with my %ile dream was just a dream not a reality
the harder i tried the worse it got(the frustration)
in all these tests i workd for strategy what to do
time allotment n similar stuffs

all these time i thought if i get SIBM i would be the happiest man on earth
on the second i always thought its only IIM
that too IIM A


with arnd 1 month to go
my simcat results showed no signs of getting near IIM cuttoffs

i managed 95-98 in the last 5 tests

i thought i could clear atleast 2 out of 3 sectional cutoffs
the ones which i attempted 1st

this was the case in my last 5-6 simcats

then came the shocker

our 7ths semester exams were scheduled as

10th , 11 , 12 , 14 , 18 , 22 november
cat 16th november

dis was another challange to face

actually my collge life was not too inspiring
lots of demoralising events , people ready to pounce on ur slightest mistake
sarcasm high on sky
even there was a general feeling
from our college no one could get an iim call


as expected i didnt clear the big one IITjEE

dropped a year

prepared a bit harder this time
yet not fully commited

result : again the same , slightly different i was eligible for AIEEE central counselling with an AIR 25000 roughly
with no hopes of top NITs

i got MGR engg college , chennai

thea fees was so high dat i derived proportional relation with fee n facilities.
but to my surprise i found the case was not to be this.

i would not malign my college as i have spend 4 yrs there
but certainly an advice to everyone
please verify extremely well before taking any big leap.

the 4 wonderful years
this was the place i found ppl from all backgrounds , states n cultures
the situation was that teacher did not know the formula of tan A
and a student didn't know how to convert centimetre into milli metre
this was my 1st experience of engineering collge.

anyways to shorten we were hit hard by a couple of floods
massive strike in the 1st yr.
2nd yr a handful out of thousand frm our senior batch (2007) got placements.

that was smthing to cheer for . even we cud get placed in an infy or tcs like our seniors.
the sprirt was high
2nd yr passed.

coaching for cat

joined IMS with full enthusiasm
as my 10th was rock solid , english was good enough because of my 10th school

strated preparing
managed to solve da package questions very easily.

then in the middle of 3rd yr got placed in a software firm
felt confident that i m not useless

but became lenient towards CAT

at the end of 3rd yr (200 received the jolt
our seniors were deferred joining
so started CAT prep again
was very tensed and nervous
college load + just 4 months to do everything

i was pretty scared , toughest exam on earth and 4 months thats it

wen i flunked IITJEE aft 3 yrs of prep
could i do it?
yes as my 10th was strong
no i hav never proved myself in the past


Well i got a chance to post in this sacred thread. I don't know whether my story may inspire others and bring a hero out of them .
but still hopefully my try is a worth.
to begin with
i belong to the small town of deoghar(jharkhand) it can called be as half urban town .
all this is necessary to say because many start chasing there dreams from a raw age of 10-12 yrs.
well during my school days i was good enough , sincere towards my studies
i studied in the best school of the city (st. francis)
the reputation was such that we were taught the difference between " take CAT n give CAT" which many 100 %ile holders of CAT don't know(no offence intended)

studying in such a school (although not too famous) was something to take pride of
i could not carry my form of pre boards and got 87.3 % in 10th (i should have done better as per my school records)
my parents were not happy enough but consoled there is always a next time.
however my 10th level knowlede was pretty strong.
This was the time when i had to decide between IIT or medical.
I chose IIT preparation and hence had to take quality coaching in that.
Meanwhile one of my cousins who was planning to take CAT that year asked me to solve some questions wich i did easily
so the CAT bug had bit me by the time i did not even pass 10th.

After 10th i moved to DPS , RANCHI
chasing my dreams of an urban life , girlfriends , IIT and of course IIM

being from a small town and extremely introvert in nature i struggled for the 2 yrs .
i failed during my 1st terms in DPS.
how could i show my face to my family members who considered me as a bright student.
they thought that there " SIDHA SADHA BETA" had become a spoilt brat.

back in ranchi the school environment was not the best to study
most of the locals were sons n daughters of rich class , so there life style was pretty different and surprising to me
i was happy riding a new ranger cycle in my 1st day @ DPS ranchi
only to discover that 10th n 9th class kids drove there own cars n bikes :o

i could hardly find a friend there. struggled to catch up with the sudden pressure of 10+ 2 n IIT.
visited my native every 20-25 days(8 hrs frm ranchi)
life was hell for me
somehow after pushing a bit i passed my final term and moved to 12th.
here i was not as pathetic as 11th
finally after my preboards took board with ease n secure a not so bad 77.2 considering the situation i had lived in the past 2 yrs


All I wanted to speak about CAT
I had hardly heard about CAT till I reached my 2nd yr of Engg(2004). Then I heard about it from few seniors and few batch mates. Tried to get some info about it.

June 2004 :
I feel like I can try it. After all, I have cracked IIT-JEE couple of yrs back, so Quant and DI shouldn't be a problem at all (heard that it's 10th class level ).
I just have to work on my VA and things are going to be alright.
Some of my batch mates have joined a coaching. I don't need to worry, still a long long way to go for CAT 05. No point in studying for CAT 1.5 yrs.
I'll get bored by the time CAT 05 comes. So, Just Chill !!
Also, the most important semester of the B.Tech (5th sem) is coming up. Probably, I should concentrate on that.

December 2004:
The dreaded, toughest 5th Semester's gone. I spent it playing Computer Games and Cricket. I am afraid of getting worst grades till now.
Forget it. Doesn't matter. Anyway I am going for an MBA ;-)
I should join a CAT coaching now.

January 2005:
As expected, got the worst grades of B.Tech till date.
Coaching is going on smoothly except for VA. I do not understand why my answers hardly match with the answer keys for any damn VA exercise.
Nor do I understand the reasoning behind the answers as explained by the teacher. Let's wait and watch what's being taught at the coaching.

April 2005 :
It's end semester time. So coachings have called off all the classes. From July, no classes, only Mock Tests for CAT 05 !!
I am in an awkward position. I am still not comfortable with VA. Haven't got any summer internship ! Need to work hard for End semester exam !!
I still think, there is lot of time on my hand. I can still work hard and bell the CAT.
May 2005 :
End sems gone. Did decently this time . Also got the internship ( somehow ). But boss, placements start in July.
After the hardwork in office ( I had to work hard during the 6 weeks of the internship ), what should I do ? Prepare for placements or for CAT.
CAT is still far away, if I get a decent job then
I can study for CAT without any pressure .
Better work on aptitude, C and C++, some digital electronics and Micro Proc's.

July 2005:
Yes! I have cracked big time. Got a job with a reputed company. But probably the package is not enough .
I should try for a few more days and see if I can bag another offer which is bigger and better.
Mock CATs started. But how would I do well if I am not concentrating on CAT.

August 2005:

Wow ! Now I am happy. I got a bigger, better offer This is a big success. Let me celebrate.
September 2005:
Oh my god ! I am left with only a couple of months. I am still unable to clear VA cut-offs, but absolutely no issues with QA and DI.
I am looking for help from everyone... seniors, coaching faculty.
November 2005 :
Finally, CAT is staring at me. I am still not confident of VA.
I'll give my best.

January 2006:
QA :98.xx
DI: 98.xx
( Attempted too many questions, poor accuracy took its toll )
OA : Don't remember
Verdict : No IIM Calls. No other calls either ( Why ?? Not applied anywhere else. IIM hi jaana hai yaar. Kisi aur college jaane se acha to naukri hi kar leta hoon !! - that's what I felt)
Did not take CAT 06. Was disappointed with the result and thought of working on VA in the long term. Some one told that VA can't be improved is short term.
Being low on confidence, I accepted.
August 2007:
I have been too busy with my office work. No time to study for CAT.
No problems, I just need to brush up the basics. Hopefully my VA would have improved :-P
I haven't even joined any test series. What's the point in joining the test series without preparing?

October 2007:
Man, I got the onsite opportunity. I have been waiting for this for more than a year now. I am planning to carry the CAT study material with me. I'll study there.
Any way it's a short assignment, I'll come back before CAT.
November 2007:
I am back for CAT but the workload was too much there. Couldn't study at all.
Ab to bhagwaan bharose hai sab !

January 2008:

I am not in India.
CAT results declared.
I have barely managed to score positive number of marks in Verbal ( some positive fraction). Other sections do not matter.
I am ashamed of myself. My room mates who were taking CAT for the first time, have done much much better than me.


April 2008:
I am back from the onsite stint. Got a promotion and a nice salary hike. Enjoyed a lot.
Earned good money. Bought a nice digital camera. But still, something hurts really badly; the CAT 07 debacle.
I have decided. This will be the year of a great comeback or retirement.

May 2008:
Incidentally, I came to know, one of my school-mates has joined a class room course for CAT.I think I should also join. At least I'll be studying regularly. Joined.

June 2008:
Started with basic exercises in QA,DI.
Now I am familiar with some of the students in coaching.

July 2008 :
I am learning a lot through discussions with fellow students in the coaching as well as the teachers.Mainly outside the class :-)
We discuss the problems from exercises and Mocks.We also discuss the strategies.

August 2008:
I have been pretty consistent with QA and DI (Never went below 90%ile in the mocks). But hardly cleared VA cut off twice. Need to buck up.
But yes... over the period of last 3 months I have improved on vocab and I am not missing the cutoffs by too big margins :-)

September 2008:
Fellow coaching mates are doing pretty well. Especially one Bong and the other guy from Kanpur. These guys really inspire me and put pressure on me to work harder and think smarter. I have improved my accuracy in QA and DI. Now I am always above 95%ile. VA cut-offs still doubtful.

October 2008:
Few weeks to go.
Although VA is still doubtful, I have managed to clear the cut-offs most of the times. And I am sure if it's my day, I'll ROCK. That's what I told Mr. Saha.

The biggest weakness in VA has been identified. I am going to stay away from the grammar section. I need to revise and practise as much as possible. I should get the mocks from some other coaching as well.

Net practice is not enough. I need good match practice. I have to hit the purple patch now !

November 2008 :
The D-day. I am pretty relaxed. The couple of days leave from office last week, has helped me stay focussed. Got "Best of Luck" calls from number of friends. On the CAT centre, I met Ravish bhaiya. It was highly positive discussion with him. Can't imagine how much a couple of jokes can help to forget all the tensions.Best part being, his offer to take a piece of a huge CRACKLE chocolate, just before the paper and I accepted it happily(waise bhi Chocolate ko koi manaa karta hai kya :-D).

The paper was a surprise as usual. Higher fraction of VA questions. Looks like I am in trouble!! Let me start with strongest section. QA is going pretty well.Although wasted some time in a couple of tough ones, but am satisfied with 10-12 attempts in 50 minutes. VA section looks big, but I just have to clear the cut-off. Looks like I have a lot of choice this time around. Big variety of questions, I can easily leave those from my weaker areas and still manage to attempt a decent number of questions. I have spent around 55 minutes to attempt around 20 Qs.Might be on the lesser side but have the least time left for DI which is unexplored. (HUGE RISK actually, but was very conscious of clearing the VA cut-off). Well, finally I have managed to attempt 11 in DI. Don't know about the accuracy though. Isn't really a very happy feeling coming out of the exam hall. Probably could have managed the time better. Now, I feel not only VA but also DI is doubtful.

After coming out, figured out that most of my friends have attempted more than 30 Qs in VA. What the heck !! I gave almost 1 hr to VA and attempted only 19 Qs !!

Within 2-3 days all the solutions were out. QA is clear pakka. DI: should be clear. VA: Scores fluctuating over a range of 15 marks(35-50).

January 2008 :
Eagerly waiting for the results. Came to know about the results one day before (Courtesy : Vinay Poojary, my friend).
99.43 %ile OA. With least being DI 92.74 %ile (was a close shave: one more wrong Qs could have caused a whole lot of trouble).
And the biggest surprise, a whopping 66 (98.xx %ile) in VA.

Anyways, got calls from L and K. Converted both. Going to L.

Something that I learnt :
1) Being systematic helps
2) Identifying weaknesses as early as possible helps.
3) Being in the proximity of strong competitors helps ( if taken positively).

People I want to thank :
My family,
All the friends including:
Amol Agrawal( For discussing every Mock in detail on phone even if it meant a big hole in the pocket and giving moral support),
Vinay Poojary( Encouraging and helping me throughout, mostly over Gtalk )
Ankur Rakshit, Himanshu Nigam, Shankar, Koushik Pal ( The coaching was lot more enjoyable because of you guys + all the help and awesome discussions over cutting chaay)
Sukrut Kharia ( Answers to all the questions and doubts + encouragement, especially "Amod bhai, China -wina ghoomna band karo. Is saal to kuch acha kar dikhao", after the CAT 07 debacle ).
Gautam Saha ( Always encouraging and checking status of my preparation just by asking a simple question "Kaisi chal rahi hai padhayi?", huge number number of times :-D )
Nishant Shekhar ( Mocks share karne ke liye)
Finally, all the teachers of my coaching. Especially Prem Sir (More of a friend and a mentor than just a teacher) and Chandraveer Sir.


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